Fourth Environment

Real Estate Development + Urban Design

Fourth Environment is a built-environment consultancy located in Houston, Texas. We specialize in helping small developers solve two common problems:

#1. It takes more work to get a project off the ground than it does it operate it.

In the old economy development companies usually had larger teams, knowing that they needed a steady flow of new projects to keep the team busy. In the new economy this is almost impossible to do. For a development group that is the right size to manage its existing projects, but not quite big enough to tackle new ones, we can step in and provide the necessary short-term manpower boost.

#2. Some projects are big enough to be a good idea, but too small to split among a partnership.

A lot of solo developers have great ideas for a small project, but they aren't necessarily comfortable doing all the work themselves. When the project is too small to split evenly with a development partner, Fourth Environment offers an alternative solution: we fill the necessary holes for a fee on the front-end. This means we're not exposed to much risk, and the solo developer gets to keep the whole project.

Why focus on Small Developers?

Small-scale development projects may not always be glamorous, but they make up the foundation of the city and have an enormous impact on people's everyday lives. We want to see better development happen at all scales, so we're putting our efforts where we feel the greatest need exists.

Our services

All development projects have three essential dimensions: finance, design, and marketing. Fourth Environment acts as a "pinch-hitter," filling in whatever gaps may exist in the client's skills or expertise. Some of the services we frequently provide include:

Real Estate
  • Proforma Development
  • Financial Analysis
  • Entitlement / Permitting
Urban Design
  • Site Planning
  • Development Yield Analysis
  • Design Standards
  • Presentations
  • Project Branding
  • Print / Web

To sum it up, you can think of us as development project managers for hire. Our job is to add the skills and capacity needed to get great places built.